Fake Body Part on HCL Elicits Mixed Reactions
It was a high-stakes cash game, a streamed poker game by Hustler Casino Live. Sashimi is a fairly regular player in the games, having been there more than a few times to run the cash game streets. She’s been known to wear everything from a hoodie to a t-shirt, often dressed like one would for comfort at a hours-long poker game.
On the December 12 edition of Max Pain Monday on the livestream, Sashimi decided on a little experiment. She wore an artificial chest with large fake breasts under what might be described as a peek-a-boo robe-style top. Conveniently, one breast peeked a little too much from the robe, and a fake nipple showed.
It is unclear how it looked in person, but on the livestream, it looked almost real. At a quick glance, one might view the video snippet and think she experienced a nip slip.
What ensued was a strange conversation in the poker community.
The tweet about the incident went viral, at least as viral as something usually gets in the poker world.
@HCLPokerShow is the greatest thing to ever happen to poker. @Joeingram1 @berkey11 #poker pic.twitter.com/apKLe5JNbN
— Low Limit Cash Games Podcast (@llcashgamespod) December 6, 2022
At last count, there were fewer than 1,400 likes but 121 quote tweets and 154 regular retweets. Clearly, not everyone liked it, but many had something to say about it.
Suddenly, it was the talk of the poker world, mostly due to the diverse reactions to it.
Of course, Hustler Casino Live benefitted the most from the video clip. Its YouTube channel surpassed the 200K subscriber mark after the stream, though it was already on the rise after the recent scandal involving Robbi Jade Lew and Garrett Adelstein. That alleged-cheating scandal erupted and spread well beyond the poker world, having happened at the same time that the chess community and professional fishing world were experiencing their own scandals involving cheating allegations.
As for the viral breast, Hustler Casino Live has said nothing. One can only find some response tweets from co-owner Nick Vertucci saying, “Pretty sure it’s a body suit/gag. But FN brilliant. Had me fooled.”
Sashimi made it known that she was going to wear something akin to a bikini on the show. She teased it for days.
ARE YOU GUYS READY @MaxPainMonday @HCLPokerShow https://t.co/QQa56S5Zoo pic.twitter.com/6xFuBGBQZw
— さし美🐟Sashimi (@sashimipoker) December 5, 2022
And when she did it, the reactions were wide-ranging.
Some viewers and followers, many of them women, reached out to express their displeasure with Sashimi’s decision. Some noted that it was disappointing to see her do this, that it was simply a way to get attention, and that it was fueling a sexism fire that many women have worked so hard to put out.
It makes me very sad to see you felt the need to do this.
— Wendy Weissman (@Thehammah) December 6, 2022
Other viewers and followers supported her decision to use her body as she chose, to be empowered and take control of the table by simply using a prop.
This bodysuit nipple poker prank is the type of art I love: conceptual & hilarious.
And striking in its imperfection vs. all the DD symmetrical Lensa boobs I’m seeing on my TL. @IsItArtBot
— Jennifer Shahade (@JenShahade) December 6, 2022
By far, though, the vast majority of comments came from men and boys.
How a Nipple Can Erase Maturity
While there was a wide array of reactions, one thing is for certain. One nipple can turn grown men into teenage boys. Many of their comments could easily be translated to Beavis and Butthead voices.
Let’s look at a small sampling:
You know I have an opinion.
However, I didn’t have the kind of strong reaction you might think.
First, if this is how Sashimi wants to portray herself, if this is how she wants to play poker, that’s her choice. She can and should express herself freely, as long as she is not harming others.
Second, this opens the door for more women – and perhaps men – to represent themselves in similar fashion. Personally, I hope this is a one-and-done experiment, and no one tries to replicate it.
Third, my initial and sustaining reaction to Sashimi’s decision is a mixture of frustration and sadness. She’s a relative newcomer to the poker scene, young and inexperienced in the world of poker. (This is not to say she lacks any poker skills. I’m speaking more generally.) She likely doesn’t know or fully comprehend the history of women in the game, how hard some of them fought for simple equality and respect at the tables.
So, when women criticize Sashimi’s actions, perhaps there are blood, sweat, and tears behind that reaction. All of that work isn’t erased by one fake nipple, but not everyone can laugh it off, especially when a notable portion of the male-dominated poker community responded with high school boy giggles and sexist remarks.